"He spoke to them only in parables..."

Instead of announcing abstract concepts, Jesus teaches with parables - stories intended to reveal truths.  So how does that work?

Jesus' parables start with everyday things (to make them accessible).  They use very visual language (to make them memorable).  They add stark contrasts, odd or unexpected twists, or both (to point towards meaning).  They are designed to get us to think about what the story is really saying (in a way that is open to anyone - no PhD required).  

That's a lot to pack into a short story, some of which are only 3-6 lines.   

Transient

That there is so much packed into these little stories means that there is something to think about in them, and something to reward those who make the effort.  We'll start unpacking Sunday's other parable tomorrow.